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5/28/2010 - Columbus, Miss.

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) voted today to appoint Allegra Brigham, 4-County Electric Power Association CEO and General Manager, as interim president of the Mississippi University for Women (MUW).

Dr. Claudia Limbert announced late last year that she would retire and step down as MUW’s 13th president in June when her current contract ends.

At the regular May meeting, the Board initiated searches for permanent presidents at MUW, Alcorn State University and Jackson State University, all of which have current or upcoming vacancies. Timelines for the searches have not been determined.

“This is an exciting opportunity to end my career at my alma mater, MUW, the institution that brought me to this area and has afforded me so many opportunities in my life,” said Brigham, who will retire from 4-County at the end of June. “I have great appreciation and respect for the leadership team in place at MUW and I look forward to working with them to continue the university’s progress.”

Brigham became CEO of 4-County, an electric cooperative serving 45,500 members in eight counties in northeast Mississippi, in March 2003. She is the first female in Mississippi co-op history to hold the position.

Brigham began her professional career as a high school teacher, moving into journalism after four years in the classroom. She worked as a reporter and editor at The Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, Miss.

Brigham, former MUW Director of Public Relations, has also taught as an assistant professor of journalism at the university.

“Allegra Brigham, having attended and worked at MUW, has been a steadfast advocate for the university,” IHL Board President Dr. Bettye Neely said. “Her impressive, varied career has prepared her for this position. The Board is confident that she is the right person to lead MUW during this transition period.”

Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Hank Bounds said Brigham’s communications and management skills will be particularly helpful to the university.

“The economic situation has posed significant challenges for all of our universities. Allegra Brigham has experience managing a budget and, at the same time, intimately understands this university’s unique needs,” Dr. Bounds said. “She is known and well-respected by the MUW family, the greater Columbus community and business leaders across the state. That will allow her to build consensus across the campus until a permanent president is appointed.”

Brigham currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Economic Council and the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link. She is also a member of the Federal Reserve Bank, Memphis Branch Board.

Brigham and her husband, Bill, are the parents of two daughters and have five grandchildren.

Board Search Committee members, appointed by Dr. Neely at the last regular meeting, for each of the universities with vacancies are as follows:

  • ASU: Trustees C.D. Smith (chair), Ed Blakeslee, Dr. Stacy Davidson, Dr. Bettye Neely, Dr. Doug Rouse;
  • JSU: Trustees Bob Owens (chair), Dr. Bettye Neely, Alan Perry, C.D. Smith, Amy Whitten; and
  • MUW: Christy Pickering (chair), Dr. Bettye Neely, Aubrey Patterson, Robin Robinson, Scott Ross.


The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Click here for more information about IHL and Mississippi’s public universities.

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